I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. (John 10:14–16)
In John 10, Jesus uses the image of a shepherd with his sheep to depict his relationship with his people. He describes himself as the good shepherd who calls his sheep by name and leads them where they need to go. This means he knows his people intimately and cares for them because they are his. He is not a thief or hired hand with no regard for the sheep; the sheep belong to him and so he loves them as his own. In fact, he loves them so much that he even lays down his life for them.
As Jesus describes himself in this way, he assures us that his sheep will recognize his voice and come. He also says that there are more sheep to be gathered who belong to him, and so there will be one flock following the one shepherd. This imagery in John 10 informs the way we think about ministry at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church.
We pray that Good Shepherd will be a place where people from every ethnicity, culture, background, and socioeconomic group will hear and recognize the voice of Jesus. This is why we are committed to preaching and teaching the Bible, because the Bible is God’s word to us, telling us who Jesus is and what he has done for us. As we read the Bible and hear it taught and preached, we hear the voice of the Good Shepherd. We do not want to draw attention to ourselves but to Jesus. He is the good news. Our desire, then, is to spiritually feed and nourish people in the green pastures of God’s word, because the gospel is God’s power to give us life and help us grow into maturity.
Furthermore, Jesus’ words in John 10 encourage us to be outward facing. There are more people Jesus is calling into his fold, and we want to be part of the means by which he does this in Kalamazoo. We want you to hear Jesus, come to Jesus, know Jesus, and love Jesus as you experience his great love for you. Are you broken and hurting? Jesus is the good shepherd who will mend and heal you. Are you lost? Jesus is the good shepherd who leaves the 99 to seek out the one wandering sheep. Are you frightened by the pain and suffering of this world? Jesus is the good shepherd who comforts and protects his sheep. Are you dead in sin and separated from God? Jesus is the good shepherd who laid down his life for the sheep so they might live and draw near to God.
Good Shepherd seeks to love and serve Kalamazoo by being a Bible-believing, gospel-proclaiming, Christ-exalting, God-glorifying, outward-facing, community-loving people. The good shepherd is calling his sheep. Come and hear his voice.